Gladiators Return to Ancient Rome in Gay Show of Force
Roman gladiators once again paid a visit to the city's colisseum, this time as warriors for equality in Rome's gay pride march, urging the Italian government to approve a draft bill it is considering that would give gays and lesbians a broad range of new rights. Tens of thousands marched this weekend.
AFP reports: "The raucous and colourful crowd, which included transvestites and lawmakers, marched under a baking sun from Rome's Saint Paul's Gate to the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, the official ecclesiastical seat of the Pope as Bishop of Rome, where anti-gay protestors had staged a giant rally last month. The marchers held up banners screaming: 'For a more European Italy,' 'Rights for All,' and 'Equality, Dignity and Secularism,' as they called upon Prime Minister Romano Prodi to speed up plans to recognise gay unions."
Vladimir Luxuria, the transgender Italian politician who showed her support last month at the Moscow gay rights rally which erupted in violence, marched in a grey and red satin gown. Said Luxuria: "I hope that 2007 will be the year when the rights of gays, lesbians and bisexuals are recognised to give us all more peaceful lives."
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